News and Notes 10-27-11


*-Matt Stafford took part in team drills at practice today and appears now on track to be able to start week 8 for Detroit. Stafford has an ankle injury but barring any setbacks before Sunday he should be good to go. I still recommend Stafford owners to grab Stafford's backup in Detroit, Shaun Hill, as this ankle injury is a reminder of how brittle Stafford has proven to be the last couple of seasons. Hill posted 2,598 passing yards and a 16-11 TD-INT ratio last year in 10 starts and is one of the better backup QB's in the league.

*-No practice again for St. Louis's Sam Bradford. Bradford is not expected to play week 8 and he may be in danger of missing week 9 as well with his high ankle sprain. A.J. Feeley will start in Bradford's place.

*-Tarvaris Jackson was able to do some work in practice today and is considered a game time decision with his pectoral injury. If he can't start Charlie Whitehurst would start in his place. I'd just stay away from the situation altogether.

*-As expected, Matt Hasselbeck's thumb injury is minor. He practiced again today and will be fine to start week 8.

Running Backs

*-After missing practice yesterday with an ankle injury, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson practiced in limited fashion today. AP is fully expected to be fine to go this week even if he is likely to be listed as Probable or Questionable on the official injury report. Check my fantasy football blog on Saturday for the updated team by team news and notes just to be sure though.

*-Arizona's Beanie Wells returned to practice in limited fashion today. It's been expected that Wells would miss this week's game against Baltimore because of the knee injury he suffered week 7 but this is a positive sign that he may be able to play. Expect Wells to be listed as Questionable and a game time decision. Tomorrow will be the telling day for him as if he doesn't practice Friday, I think he'll be inactive Sunday. If he does practice he likely will play, but between the potential limitations of the injury and the really bad matchup I would strongly consider keeping him benched anyway.

*-Peyton Hillis missed practice today. Hillis had practiced yesterday so it could be that he pushed his injured hamstring too hard and suffered a setback. His status for week 8 is very much uncertain now and I would recommend keeping him benched this week unless he returns to a full practice tomorrow. I fully expect that even if active this week, Hillis will be limited and that Montario Hardesty will likely be the best RB play from Cleveland. However, it's a bad matchup against a 49ers run defense that has yet to allow a rushing TD this season and only gives up 74.7 rushing yards per game.

*-Maurice Jones-Drew returned to a full practice today after being given yesterday off. He's fine and the Jags were just resting him Wednesday.

*-Mark Ingram missed practice again today. I really don't expect him to play and think the Saints will use a lot of Pierre Thomas and Daren Sproles this week. With a great matchup against the Rams, Sproles is a solid RB play this week and Thomas a strong consideration as a RB2.

*-Mike Tolbert was held out of practice today. This is the second day in a row Tolbert has missed despite his hand and hamstring injuries having been declared minor. Tomorrow is the important day for Tolbert as San Diego plays Monday night. If Tolbert doesn't practice at least in limited fashion on Friday, I'd expect him to not play. If he does practice, I'd expect him to play as he normally would.

*-Joseph Addai missed practice again today and it's sounding like he at best will be a game time decision. Even if active I wouldn't be expecting a lot from Addai. Delone Carter is the only Colts RB I'd consider this week and even then he's a mediocre RB3.

*-Brandon Jacobs has been limited in practices this week but is currently expected to play week 8 for the Giants. Jacobs has been recovering from a knee injury suffered a few weeks back and while he should play this week, it needs to be noted that even when he was healthy, he was on the wrong end of the time share with Ahmad Bradshaw. A limited Jacobs eased back into his normal offensive role would be a poor bet for fantasy points even with a pretty good matchup.

*-The Mike Shanahan shenanigans aren't over with yet. Shanahan refuses to name a starting RB for week 8 and while we all expect Ryan Torain to be the primary rushing down RB and get most of the carries with Roy Helu serving as the change of pace and 3rd down RB, this is Mike Shanahan we're dealing with here. And he is known to pull a fast one on us. While I expect Torain to be the primary guy, I won't be surprised if Helu gets a lot more time than expected. Bottom line with Shanahan s that we just don't know for sure.

*-Dallas's Tashard Choice was limited in practice today. Choice suffered a shoulder injury week 7 and while he may be active for this week, there's a good chance that Phillip Tanner will be the top backup to DeMarco Murray instead of Choice. Of course, Felix Jones is out with his ankle injury.

*-Amongst RB who were either limited in practice or have some minor injury that they are fully expected to play thru, the list includes Seattle's Marshawn Lynch, Miami's Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush, and New England's BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Wide Receivers

*-Andre Johnson was again able to practice in limited fashion today but his hamstring isn't fully healed up and he will be a game time decision for week 8. I tentatively expect that he be able to play, but I also expect that he will be limited and not play his usual full complement of snaps. Johnson is a high risk/high reward play this week. In other Texans WR news, Kevin Walter will be fine despite having a minor issue. He's practiced in full the last two days.

*-Hines Ward missed practice again with his ankle injury. Even if active I wouldn't be starting him. If he isn't active, Emmanuel Sanders would take his place in 2 WR sets but both Sanders and Antonio Brown would be considered strong plays this week.

*-Percy Harvin returned to a limited practice today and despite his nagging ribs injury he is expected to play this week for the Vikings.

*-Danario Alexander missed practice again today because of his hamstring injury. I don't expect him to play for St. Louis this week. That leaves Brandon Lloyd as the only WR capable of being a playmaker on the Rams. Brandon Gibson likely gets to start again after being made inactive last week.

*-Malcom Floyd is still not practicing because of his hip injury. Floyd is likely to be considered a game time decision.

*-Early Doucet was able to practice in limited fashion and should be able to play this week. But it's a bad matchup and I wouldn't recommend starting him against Baltimore.

*-Braylon Edwards was able to practice in limited fashion again today. While he isn't fully recovered from the knee injury that caused him to miss the last few games, it sounds like he will be able to play some this week.

*-Two WR's of note WR's did not practice today and I would be very surprised if either of them played this week. These are Baltimore's Lee Evans, and Cleveland's Mohamed Massaquoi. Evans has his lingering ankle injury and Massaquoi has a concussion.

Tight Ends  

*-San Diego's Antonio Gates has been practicing all week and will start this week without issue. But I would still be concerned long term about a possible aggravation of his foot injury. But for this week he appears safe to start.

*-Arizona's Todd Heap was able to practice, albeit in limited fashion for the second day in a row. It's a good sign for his chances for playing this week but while I'm sure he'd like to have a great game against his former team, I doubt if happens.

*-Ben Watson missed practice again today and I doubt if he'll play week 8 because of his concussion.

*-It's starting to look doubtful for Minnesota's Visanthe Shiancoe. He hasn't been able to practice the last 2 days because of a foot injury and unless he returns to practice tomorrow, I wouldn't be counting on him for fantasy consideration. Again, be sure to check my fantasy football blog on Saturday for the team by team news and notes for the latest word on all teams and their player's injury statuses.

*-Denver's rookie TE Julius Thomas has practiced in full so far this week and could finally get back on the field after the last several games with an ankle injury. But he is only a backup TE and not deserving of fantasy consideration yet.


*-Phil Dawson has been limited in practices this week due to a minor thigh injury but he is fully expected to be fine to kick week 8 without issue.